2010 Gifting: Silhouette Art

Raise your hands if you love silhouettes as much as I do.  No, I’m not talking about the Silhouette cutting machine; I don’t have one, but would love to.  Personalized art and silhouettes are great, heartfelt gifts for parents,  grandparents, friends and family members. 

If you like the idea and look, but don’t know how to make one, read carefully, I’m giving you a step by step tutorial.

First, prevent your small child from moving all over.  Use food as a distraction to get a clear, complete profile picture, such as this:

Then, open said photo in Photoshop or another editing program.  Closely crop the photo around your subject and resize the photo to fit your frame. 

In Photoshop, add a new layer and name it Silhouette.  Select the pencil or paintbrush and set the size to 5 pixels.  Carefully outline the profile. 

Here’s a tip:  To get a nice, clean outline, hold the Shift button down and click closely in rounded areas.  This will prevent your cursor from going crazy, following your very unsteady hand.  If you don’t have an option to outline the profile, simply print the photo to the right size and skip to the cutting.

Once you’ve outlined your subject, click on the background photo again.  Add a new layer and fill with white, or simply hide the photo and print on normal printer paper.

Carefully cut the silhouette out, keeping as close to the lines as possible. 

Then, place the cut silhouette on your final cardstock, facing the opposite direction you want the final design to be.  With a pencil, trace on the back of the black (or whatever color cardstock you want).  Carefully cut out again, rounding the bottom. 

You now have a custom silhouette, ready to adhere to a background cardstock and pop in a frame.  Or, you could skip the second round of cutting and trace the silhouette on a painted 8 inch by 10 inch canvas and carefully fill in the silhouette with paint.  For Mother’s Day, my two sisters and I make 6 8 inch by 10 inch canvas silhouettes with one profile each of us girls, Ben, Vincent and Everett.  My mom loved them.

If you don’t have the time or tools to make your own silhouettes, send us your profile pictures and for only $5.00 we’ll make a digital cut out design for you.  For more personalized gift ideas, visit our Etsy shop or e-mail us at ourhumbleabowed@gmail.com to discuss your options.

6 thoughts on “2010 Gifting: Silhouette Art

    1. Hi Sandy,

      Photoshop is a photo editing software. You can get it through Best Buy or other places that sell computer software, but it is expensive, about $700. Though, you can get Photoshop Elements for $150. If you don’t have a use for Photoshop, I am happy to make digital, ready to cut custom silhouettes for $5.00 each. If you’re interested, please e mail me at ourhumbleabowed@gmail.com.


  1. Thanks for sharing this! I have been wanting to make some for quite awhile, excited to have a step by step to refer too!


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